No time like the present (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday November 7, 2007 3:13PM; Updated: Wednesday November 7, 2007 4:10PM
5. Portland Trail Blazers
Dates: Jan. 13-23 (seven games)
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Dates: March 8-19 (six games), March 25-29 (four games)
3. Seattle SuperSonics
Dates: Dec. 9-15 (five games, including Hornets, Bulls, Jazz); Jan. 3-9 (four games, including Suns and Cavs); Jan. 16-21 (four games, including Hornets, Mavs, Rockets); March 2-12 (seven games, including Pistons, Raptors, Celtics; April 8-11 (three games, against Mavs, Rockets, Spurs).
2. San Antonio Spurs
Dates: Jan. 28-Feb. 13 (nine games)
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Dates: Jan. 31-Feb. 13 (nine games)
Check it out ...
Far be it for me to think this is the only place you stop for your NBA news shopping. So each week we'll try to point you in the direction of some of the more interesting stories and opinions making their way about the Web.
The collection of some 30 stories the Los Angeles Times has in its Kobe Bryant trade watch section is impressive, but not nearly as entertaining as the paper's Advisory System that tracks Bryant's desire to bolt L.A. on a daily basis.
Martin Johnson of the New York Sun argues that the key to the Knicks' season isn't Zach Randolph, but Nate Robinson. That's right, Nate Robinson, who has played well enough that Stephon Marbury better start looking over his shoulder soon.
Dime brings us a link to a story about how Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is counseling his team to play a little more like he did and a little less like it did in getting manhandled by the Celtics last Sunday.
This may be the only defense of Kevin McHale's work as a personnel boss since he drafted Kevin Garnett. The argument is an intriguing one.
Thanks to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, we get a rare glimpse at what makes Gregg Popovich tick.
If I were ... David Stern
I would strongly encourage every team to stop raising ticket prices for at least one season. According to a survey by Team Marketing Report, the average price of an NBA ticket is $48.43, an increase of 3.6 percent from last year. That figure is also on par with the average price in the NFL, despite the fact that professional football's limited number of games makes each contest more valuable than any random NBA regular-season tilt.
More important, it would be a small token of respect toward a fan base that has had to endure questions about the league's integrity, courtesy of the Tim Donaghy betting scandal and the almost blatant tanking of games late last season by a handful of teams -- cough, Boston, cough, Milwaukee -- bound for the draft lottery. Clearly, when it can cost a family of four almost $500 to attend a Lakers game, as the TMR report also found, the NBA isn't banking on the Average Joe to fill the stands on a nightly basis. But it needs those rank-and-file fans to buy the caps and jerseys and order the cable TV packages that make the NBA the type of recognized brand that can expand into foreign markets such as China.
Of course, few owners will greet the idea with wide smiles, but with all of the casual fans the NBA has lost over the past decade, it would be wise to remind the core supporters that they still count as more than a receipt.
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